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Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
Some Amazon.com Associates have noticed in their reports a sudden burst of clicks (and orders) dating to May 7th. I am not one of them, I'm sorry to say!

There's been a lot of speculation on the board as to what happened, with the most hopeful idea being that Amazon suddenly figured out how to block some kind of malware that was stealing commissions--"hopeful" because if so the boom in orders could be expected to continue. I'm doubtful about that explanation, though. If it were true, then should have seen a boost too.

Someone I trust has posted a note saying she thinks she's figured out what it is and has been able to replicate it on her site. I've emailed her to find out what it is--she didn't want to post it in public. Unfortunately she did say that it seems to be some kind of bug and that Amazon will most likely fix it and remove all the extra clicks and orders.....

Just the latest fiasco--Amazon's policy of keeping Associates staff to the bone had been back-firing on a regular basis this year.

I'll post when I learn more.
May 17, 2009 08:38PM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
I won't hold my breath. Amazon are noted for treating Associates as mushrooms.
May 17, 2009 10:08PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
We'll see. I'm actually now testing the theory someone has. Should know by Tuesday if they are correct, but have been asked to keep it under wraps.
May 18, 2009 05:47AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
As I said over at the other forum, when I bothered to look into it I noted an almost six fold increase in clicks.

But "all" of these related to the tracking ID I assigned to the "link-enhancer" javascript code I've put at the bottom of certain pages.

Certainly no abnormal increase in orders for me only this 6 X increase in recorded clicks.

FWIW
May 18, 2009 03:57PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
That may be connnected....
May 18, 2009 04:24PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
You've sussed it, Ian. Wonder how long it will take them to fix this?

I'm saying nothing further on Amazon. And to think that the answer was posted in plain view--with experimental support--by a regular! Well, people like to speculate.
May 19, 2009 05:38PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
They have fixed it. It was the product preview script, or what Ian is calling the link-enhancer script. Full details on the Amazon discussion boards:

[forums.prosperotechnologies.com]

So far as I am concerned the only drag is that I didn't figure it out sooner--if I had jumped on Valerie S.'s post, early in the thread, and put the script on my home page, I estimate that I would have reaped 100-150 extra sales over the course of the week....
May 22, 2009 03:49PM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
Quote:
I estimate that I would have reaped 100-150 extra sales over the course of the week....

I see how the extra clicks were recorded but I can't understand the bit about extra sales as a consequence.
May 22, 2009 10:51PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
Ian, it seems like it didn't work for you, but if the system counted a click it must have also planted a "cookie"--and a certain percentage of the people who viewed a page at a product preview site then went on to visit Amazon and buy something.
May 23, 2009 03:58PM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
Ah Sooo!

[added] In my experience from comments made on my forum over many years, people who decide Amazon represents best value to buy a specific book or product they have in mind come to my site via a bookmark then click into Amazon via the first link they see. It's called loyalty.

Doubtful anyone, even a casual visitor, would look at my links and then go direct to Amazon via another route.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/23/2009 11:25PM by Ian C. Purdie.
May 23, 2009 11:21PM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
Well, interestingly enough, Amazon have now removed the extra clicks and earnings from their system and have posted an announcement to that effect on the Associate home page!

Fun while it lasted. I'd only snagged a few extra orders, so I'm not bummed. But there were people who had huge increases in sales that will now have been backed out....
June 04, 2009 03:58AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
Yeah days afterward I went back and checked May.

I just noticed that numbers, sales and income altered but only to about 13% of what was already a "BIG" month for me anyway. Also continues to be so far in June...

Why my increasing sales? Has Amazon uncovered an unknown glitch?

Shame I didn't keep a copy of the May report which I had formerly looked at on 3rd June [LT] - took it as final and then I could make and post comparisons with today.

Even early today 4th June [LT], when the topic re-surfaced, I checked and noticed zero change - hence my affirmative posts.

I'd post a correction to my earlier posts at Amazon as a matter of decency but all I'd do is give "stupid" more ammunition.

Personally I've found Amazon to be honourable in all their dealings, if a little dumb for all the expertise employed and beyond doubt the greatest mis-communicators on the planet.

FWIW and of course YMMV
June 04, 2009 07:29AM
Ian C. Purdie
Posts:2220
Senior member
Member since: 2008-12-12
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
Just had to add:

At my time of life I'm not about to slash my wrists over this.

My past experience is that with screw ups Amazon have made they have always made good.

Even junk I personally didn't even know about.

[Email]

Mr. Purdie, sir, we screwed up two years ago and under-credited you with $XXXX. This has now been rectified and added to your account.

[/Email]

TRUE
June 04, 2009 07:35AM
Harold
Posts:2494
Senior member
Member since: 2006-11-30
:: Quote ::
Subject: Re: Phantom earnings: Latest Amazon fiasco
Yes, I'm prepared to accept what Amazon has done for the same reasons. And it LOOKS about right -- what they took away equals my estimate of what I'd over-earned.
June 04, 2009 06:58PM

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